On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton will take up the torch as the major headline speaker to address the Democratic National Convention, after First Lady Michelle Obama brought the convention crowd to its feet with an impressive speech on Night 1.
On Tuesday, Democrats lined up an impressive group of speakers to address the social issues surrounding gay rights and abortion issues. On Wednesday, attention shifts to the economy, as Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will make the case that President Obama's economic policies will protect the middle class and look out for consumers over corporations. That message stands in stark contrast to the one propogated by Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention last week.
Just one week after Republicans showcased the best their party has to offer in Tampa, Democrats will use the second day of speeches to continue to define the stakes of this election. For too long, the GOP has defined the political narrative in this country. Democrats must continue to make the case for why Obama should be re-elected on his own merits, and not simply as an alternative to Romney. Wednesday's speakers must make the case for the importance in investing in infrastructure, education, and the health of our citizens.
In addition to Michelle Obama, Night 1 featured prime-time speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the first Latino keynote speaker at the DNC, along with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is getting nationwide attention as a possible 2016 candidate after he made the case for investment in public infrastructure earlier this year. The evening also featured two video speeches, an emotional tribute to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, as well as a pre-recorded message from former President Jimmy Carter.
Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren's address comes one day before Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama deliver their nominating speeches on Thursday.
Of course, no convention would be complete without also including an array of musical talent. The DNC will feature the following artists: Amber Riley, also known as Mercedes from Glee, Jessica Sanchez of American Idol, Earth, Wind, and Fire, the Foo Fighters, Delta Rae, Marc Anthony, and James Taylor who will reportedly perform his classic "Carolina in My Mind."
Charlotte and southern hospitality will be on display, and all signs point to a brutal, close presidential election in North Carolina.
PolicyMic will be covering all the events and speeches during the Democratic National Convention live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATES: THURSDAY For full coverage of the evening's speeches, including real time analysis of President Obama and Joe Biden's speech, see here.
Here's the video of Obama's speech from Thursday:
11:24 PM Obama just came on stage and brought Clinton into a hug.
"In the end we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives ... a more perfect union."
"If you want a you're on your own, winner take all society you should support Mitt Romney. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
"President Obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation."
"We simply can't afford to give the reigns of government to someone who will double-down on trickle-down."
"We've gotta deal with this big long term debt problem, or it will deal with us."
"I'm gonna do everything I can do to see that it doesn't happen. We can't let it happen."
"They also wanted to bloack grant Medicaid, and cut it by a third over the next 10 years ... it's gonna end Medicre as we know it."
If Romney is elected it will be "the end of Medicare as we know it."
"It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did."
"Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are."
He came out in full support of Obamacare. "For the last two years health care costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in 50 years."
"I know we're better off because President Obama made the decisions he did."
"No one will ever have to drop out of college again for fear they can't repay their debt."
"The old economy is not coming back. We have to build a new one and educate people to do those jobs."
"There are already 3 million jobs open and unfilled in America."
Under Obama "renewable energy production has doubled."
"Here's another jobs score. Obama: 250,000. Romney: Zero."
"Here's another jobs score. President Obama: + 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans: Zero."
"In the last 29 months our economy has produced about four and a half million private sector jobs."
"President Obama started with a much weaker economy then I did ... no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years."
"They convinced me they were honorable people and they're going to keep every commitment they made. We just have to make sure the American people know what those commitments are ... they want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place." -- On Republicans at the primary.
"As the Senate Republican leader said ... their number one priority was not to put the American people back to work, it was to put the president out of work. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job."
Lauds Obama's preference for "inclusion and partnership over partisanship."
"I am especially grateful to Michelle Obama and to Jill Biden for supporting those military families while their loved ones were overseas, and for supporting our veterans when they come home."
"Democracy does not have to be a blood sport. It can be an honorable enterprise that advances the public interest."
"President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported Hillary in the primary ... heck, he even appointed Hillary!"
"One of the main reasons we oughtta re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to construction cooperation."
"Unfortunately the faction that dominates the Republican party ... they think the government is the enemy ... and compromise is weakness."
"Nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day."
"When times are tough...the politics of constant conflict may be good. But what is good politics may not necessarily work in the real world. What works in the real world is cooperation."
"We focus on solving problems and siezing opportunites and not fighting all the time."
"Poverty, discrimination, and ignorance, restrict growth."
"Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42." -- how many public sector jobs each party has created since 1961.
"We believe that we're all in this together, is a far better philosophy than you're on your own."
Calls the Republican narrative an "alternative universe."
"I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States, and I proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer of the Democratic party."
"And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama."
"I want to nominate a man who's cool on the outside, but who burns for America on the inside. I want a man who believes with no doubt, that we can build a new American dream economy."
"We are here to nominate a president, and I've got one in mind."
10:35 Bill Clinton is taking the stage.
10:32 PM Candidate for Masachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren has taken the stage. She is greated by chants of "Warren, Warren!"
Quotes and themes:
"We are called to restore opportunity for every American ... we are called to build solid so the next generation can build something better. So let me ask you, let me ask you America, are you ready to answer this call?"
"He believes in a country where no one can still you purse on Main Street, or your pension on Wall Street."
"President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes, just like their secretaries do ... and a country where women get equal pay for equal work."
Defines Obama as "a president on the side of the middle class."
"American families didn't have an army of lobbyist on our side, what we had was a president. President Obama, leading the way."
"No Governor Romney: Corporations are not people."
"The Republicans say they don't believe in government ... they believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends."
"The Republican vision is clear: I've got mine, the rest of you are on your own."
"We know that the economy doesn't grow from the top down, but from the middle out and the bottom up."
"We're Americans, we celebrate success, we just don't want the game to be rigged."
Warren takes a deep dig at Wall Street CEOs.
"People feel like the system is rigged against: And here's the painful part, they're right."
"For many years, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered."
"I'm grateful down to my toes for every opportunity America gave me. This is a great country."
"I never dreamed I'd be the warm-up act for President Bill Clinton."
10:09 PM Women's rights activist Sandra Fluke has taken the stage. She hit a home run.
Quotes and themes:
"We talk often about choice, well ladies (and gentlemen) it's now time to choose."
Fluke has the crowd on their feet. "Instead of trying to silence her, you invite me hear, and you give me this microphone to amplify our voice. That's the difference."
In Obama's America: "we decide when to start our families. An America in which our president, when he hears that a young woman has been verbally attacked thinks of his daughters, not his delegates or his donors."
Sandra Fluke is hitting the points head on. She says, Ryan would allow "pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms"
9:57 PM RNC jokes.
9:48 PM Cindy Hewitt, another speaker laid off by Romney, says Mitt Romney's job experience is in laying people off.
9:47 PM Current speaker Randy Johnson was fired by Mitt Romney in 1992. "What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass, I fault him for putting profits before people like me."
"Mitt Romney will stick it to working people; Barack Obama sticks up for working people. It's simple as that."
9:41 PM A little public union action now. Bob King, President of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is live.
Some analysts have said the GOP would try and assault Obama on public unions -- forcing it to be the issue of election 2012. Remember the Wisconsin recall vote the Republicans won? The GOP could possibly do the same in the Nov. general election. So far, though, that has not been the case
9:39 PM Auto industry video featured moments ago at the DNC.
9:34 PM Karen Eusanio an assembly woker at a GM plant in Ohio has taken the stage.
9:27 PM Cuban icon Cristina Saralegui is on stage speaking for Obama. This is a huge deal for the Cuban American community who is predominantly Republican. Saralegui was a talk show host on Telemundo and Univision. Think of her as the Oprah of Latin America. Her endorsement might have influence enough to sway some of the Cuban American voter base. Si se puede.
Saralgui is attacking Romney's stance of "self deportation" and repealing the dream act. Her reply? "Don't boo: vote."
The people Romney calls "illegal aliens" Obama calls "Dreamers."
9:12 PM Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, up now.
Harris is a rising leader in the feminist community.
9:03 PM Feeling like we've had a string of no-names for the last hour or so. DNC, where are all the big guns? Do we have to wait 'til Clinton?
8:51 PM Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware has taken the stage.
Quotes and Themes:
Obama "needs to grow our economy from the middle out and not from the top down."
"Just because Mitt Romney was a successful private equity executive, that does not mean he deserves to be president."
Elizabeth Warren set to talk at 10 p.m. -- here are some excerpts
EXCERPTS of Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren’s Remarks to the Democratic National Convention
Below are key excerpts of Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren remarks as prepared for delivery:
“I grew up in an America that invested in its kids and built a strong middle class.
“That allowed millions of children to rise from poverty and establish secure lives.
“An America that created Social Security and Medicare so that seniors could live with dignity.
“An America in which each generation built something solid so that the next generation could build something better.
“But for many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered.”
“President Obama believes in a level playing field.
“He believes in a country where nobody gets a free ride or a golden parachute.
“A country where anyone who has a great idea and rolls up their sleeves has a chance to build a business, and anyone who works hard can build some security and raise a family.
“President Obama believes in a country where billionaires pay their taxes just like their secretaries do -- and I can't believe I have to say this in 2012 – a country where women get equal pay for equal work.”
“Americans are fighters.
“We are tough, resourceful and creative. If we have the chance to fight on a level playing field -- where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot – then no one can stop us.
“President Obama gets it – because he's spent his life fighting for the middle class.
“And now he's fighting to level that playing field – because we know that the economy doesn't grow from the top down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up.
“That's how we create jobs. And reduce the debt.
“And Mitt Romney?
“He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires...but for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails?
“His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000.
“Mitt Romney wants to give billions in breaks to big corporations – but he and Paul Ryan would pulverize financial reform, voucher-ize Medicare, and vaporize Obamacare.”
8:36 PM Now speaking, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. He speaks of the tough summer his state has had; fires, the Aurora shooting.
Quotes and themes:
"To move our country forward, it takes we and not me."
"Unlike four years ago we are finally moving in the right direction."
8:19 PM ICYMI Here are the talking points and themes of the evening:
8:18 PM Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Has taken the stage.
Key Quotes and Themes:
"The decision we have to make this November is simple: Do we keep moving forward? Or do we join the Romney-Ryan retreat?"
"Mitt Romney and Paul Romney promise hard truths; but they don't deliver hard answers or real solutions."
"It's a turnaround of nearly 1 million jobs then when Obama took office. Surely even Mitt Romney thinks we're better off today than we were then."
This month was the 29th consecutive month of private sector job gains.
"Despite historic levels of obstruction. President Obama was able to bring the economy back from the verge of a second Great Depression."
"They want to drown the captain and are prepared to sink the ship to do so."
"The Republicans number one priority is the defeat of President Obama. Not the defeat of terrorism, not the creation of jobs...but to simply defeat our president."
8:15 PM After a musical interlude by Jessica Sanchez. Now, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood is speaking to the crowd. She speaks directly to Mitt Romney and against three of his positions: 1) ending birth control 2) not standing up for equal pay for women and 3) putting female insurance policies in the hands of women's employers. In Richards words, "President Obama stands with women ... Thanks to President Obama, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in America."
7:59 PM Senator Gillibrand after taking the stage with her fellow female Democratic senators:
7:51 PM A heavy influx of education talk this evening. Students from Miami Dade Community College are on stage speaking in support of the Pell Grant.
7:42 PM A highlight from Nancy Pelosi's speech:
7:41 PM Barbara Mikulski: "Because of President Obama's leadership, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition."
7:39 PM Barbara Mikulski: "Every issue is a women's isse."
7:34 PM The festivities are underway. A group of impressive female senators has taken the stage while Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the first Democratic woman elected to the senate, addresses the crowd.
3:54 PM For a preview and schedule of Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night, see here.
3:30 PM It's official, due to poor Charlotte weather, President Obama's major Thursday speech has been moved from the outdoor Bank of America stadium as had been planned, to the disappointment of thousands of supporters. Read more here.